Thursday, May 19, 2011

31 Days Closer to Your Kids: How? Pow? Wow?

Shelly Final

I got this idea from my middle daughter, Caroline, who came home from camp with it one summer when she was about 11 years old. Every night before bed, her counselor would gather the girls in the cabin and have a How/Pow/Wow session. She liked it so much that she asked me to do it with her when she got home. That lasted a while, and even now, even though she's very close to being a senior in high school, every so often I'll sit down and ask her How/Pow/Wow.

This is such an easy way to check in with your kids and maybe even start a great conversation.

How. How was your day? Just an overall summary. Was it a good day? Was it a bad day? Was it just a ho-hum average day? Just get your kids thinking through their day and ask how it went.

Pow. What went wrong today? What socked you in the gut and went "Pow!" to you? Not everything in every day goes just peach-keen, so dig this out of your kids and let them spill it. Remember, you're just listening, not fixing.

Wow. What was the best thing that happened to you today? What made you say, "Wow!"? Was it the delicious salted caramel brownie that your sister (or daughter) made for you last night (that was mine from yesterday) or was it the glorious sunset you got to witness over Naples Bay (like I did last weekend)? Find something to praise God for that day.

So there you go. Three simple phrases. Three basic questions: How was your day? What went wrong? What went right?

Why not try it tonight around the dinner table?

So, let me ask YOU . . . . How? Pow? Wow?

* * * * * * * * * *

31 Days Closer to Health, Wellness, and Bathing Suit Season
31 Days Closer to a Cuter You
31 Days Closer to Hearing God's Voice
31 Days Closer to the Life You Always Wanted
31 Days Closer to a New Home



  1. I love this idea and it's easy to remember.
    My How ~ a sunny day like we had yesterday is always better than an overcast day like Tuesday it was good.

    My Pow ~ same as always, the punch in the gut realization that my boy Andrew is not with us anymore.

    My Wow ~ the beautiful colors of the blue sky meeting the teal green waters of the Gulf of Mexico that I saw as I ran on the beach with a friend. It always surprises me with its beauty.

  2. Thanks, Melanie. I know that Pow, too--some friends of ours just lost their 21 year old son unexpectedly last weekend. Hopefully the Wows help ease the Pows just a little.

  3. I love this idea! My mom always asked us what our favorite part of a vacation or big event was, but I love it for the everyday.

    I can't really answer the questions yet - it's only 8:30 in the morning! But I imagine my how/wow/pow for today will involve my 3yo's last day of preschool and program later tonight!

  4. We play "High/Lo" Same concept. But we also add "funny." Because we always have something funny to share.


  5. Shelly, I was thinking yesterday that between your Intentional Parenting series and this series, you have the makings of a REALLY good parenting book.

    Love you!

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  7. I've done this with my son ever since he started pre-school...and now my daughter joins in the fun.

    How - Not conscious yet - my sweet husband brings me coffee after he drops the kids off @ the school bus. I need my morning wake up juice!

    Pow - We both work from home. He's going golfing. Yup. I'll be lonely.

    Wow - Beautiful warm sunny day out here today on the West Coast. My fave team cleaned up in their game last night. Our daughter didn't steal anything yesterday, and told the truth the whole 24 hrs - another big win! (We gots us some adoption issues.)

  8. Oh wow, Cindy. Looks like you have your hands full. I loved reading about your day . . . so far.

  9. this is an incredible series, shelly. congrats too on your new job adventure.

    when the kids were younger we did a version of H-P-W, and it never failed to open everyone up to more compassion.

    yesterday was above average good.

    the usual pow suspects...anxiety preventing me from fully engaging in the present.

    feeling love from my husband and sons even though i'm weak and not as productive as i used to be. realizing i can stop trying desperately to earn it.


  10. On a collegiate missions trip I led, we used "rose, bud, thorn" thinking about what was great, what we're looking forward to and what went poorly, respectively.

    Also, for Habitat trips, we do hammers and nails--typically, the hammers were good and the nails bad, but this year our team was the "nail" team (hammers, nails, shingles, siding), so nails were good in our van:)

  11. Funny, I just more or less did this on the phone with my fifteen year old (who struggles with depression). Since the answer to "How" was a vague "okay", I followed up with, "Did anything good happen today?" After a moment she said in a much more cheerful voice, "Grandma sent me a belated birthday present". God bless Grandma--her birthday was in October!

  12. This is clever and fun.

    how? good day, recovering from oral surgery, cleaned the kitchen (cleaning things makes me happy.)

    pow? didn't make it on the plane on my standby tickets, will miss my brother's 60th birthday party

    wow? enjoyed a restful fun day - ended up being glad to not be on a plane. heading out for a short walk with my honey.


  13. I love this idea too!! I'm learning so much from you each post you do. Thank you!


  14. I routinely ask my children about the How and Wow but was not asking about the Pow. Tried it yesterday and it generated some good discussion. Thanks for the tip!